My name is Jillian Loyden. I am currently in Dresden, Germany, for the start of the 2011 Women's World Cup.
We spent the first stint of the trip in Leogang, Austria, spending some time in seclusion, working out the last-minute kinks. We arrived in Dresden about four days ago and have been training here preparing for our first match against North Korea.
It's the day before the game and we woke up as usual. We headed to the training room to fill out our paperwork, just as we do every day. We walked over and had breakfast and talked about the entertaining Canada and Germany game the day before. After breakfast, the goalkeepers went out for an early morning training session. We got out for double day sessions almost every day. It was a great session. We got all our handling and kicking in, giving us a bit of confidence before the game tomorrow.
After team lunch, we had a pregame meeting, discussing the tactics and game plans that we would try to execute to gain the win. Following the team meeting, a bunch of us got together in the players' lounge and watched the New Zealand vs. Japan game on the projector. The game was really exciting, I feel bad for the people staying in the room next to us, there was screaming, oohs and aahs for almost the entire game.
Being it was the day before the game, we got to train at the game field in Dresden. We walked off the bus and you could just feel the air change. Game faces went on, the nerves started going. We got dressed and we had exactly 45 minutes on the field. We went through a warm-up, did some shooting, and got into our usual small sided games.
People were going at it. The intensity was high. People definitely brought their A games today. There was definitely a buzz about the team. Everyone's pretty anxious and ready to get the tournament started. We all felt really good after training. This team has put in the work, this team is prepared, this team is ready to embark on a journey to bring the gold back home to the U.S.
Who is Jillian Loyden?
Loyden, 26, of Vineland is the third goalkeeper on the U.S. World Cup roster. She is a member of the magicJack of Women's Professional Soccer. Loyden was a WPS All-Star in 2010 as a member of the Chicago Red Stars. Loyden was a three-time Big East Player of the Year at Villanova University and was named The Press Girls Soccer Player of the Year in 2002.